Explain the current thinking on what factors affect one’s athletic abilities. Is it genetics? Learned motor skills? Excellent perception?
In the book The Sports Gene by David Epstein, the author describes how baseball
players use anticipatory cues to hit balls:
“… This is a learned perceptual skill. And in fact, if you do a digital simulation, which
some scientists have done, where you delete the pitcher’s shoulder, [the Los Angeles
Angels’] Albert Pujols becomes me, basically. You have to delete a little more than the
shoulder to get him to that novice level, but he basically becomes a novice if you do
that. And you can do the same thing with tennis players.”
Regarding basketball, the author has this to say:
“In fact there are some brain imaging studies that suggest that good rebounders are
also looking for anticipatory cues, that they’re actually mentally rehearsing what they’re
watching a shooter do in an attempt to predict where the ball’s going to go.”
Read the Web sites listed below (and any additional ones you find), and then write an
essay of at least 800 words to a bright but uniformed college student explaining current
thinking on what factors affect one’s athletic abilities. Is it genetics? Learned motor
skills? Excellent perception? Here are some links to get you started:
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